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Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease

Overview of Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can cause your digestive tract to become swollen and irritated. If you have Crohn's, you might experience symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and rectal bleeding. This is a lifelong condition, but treatment will typically help control your symptoms and allow you to live an active lifestyle.

What is a Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is a lifelong form of inflammatory bowel disease. This condition inflames and irritates the digestive tract. More specifically, it affects people's intestines, which can lead to symptoms like diarrhea and stomach cramps. Crohn’s Disease is common among people with periodic flare-ups.

One of the first doctors to formally identify Crohn's was an American gastroenterologist, Burrill Crohn. He first described the illness in 1932. Ulcerative colitis is another disease that has been diagnosed on more than one occasion.

How common is Crohn’s disease?

According to research, there are more than 500,000 cases of Crohn's disease in the India. According to studies, the Crohn's disease has increased over time in both the India and other countries. Experts are unsure of what is causing this rise.

What are the types of Crohn’s disease?

The digestive system can be affected in several places by Crohn's disease. Types of Crohn’s disease include:

  • Ileocolitis:The small intestine and a portion of the colon, which is the large intestine, become inflamed. The most prevalent form of Crohn's disease is ileocolitis.
  • Ileitis:The small intestine becomes inflamed and swollen (ileum).
  • Gastroduodenal:  The stomach and the top of the small intestine are both irritated and inflamed (the duodenum).

Jejunoileitis: In the top portion of the small intestine, there are sporadic regions of inflammation (called the jejunum).

What causes Crohn’s disease?

The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. Your likelihood of getting the illness may be impacted by a number of variables, including:

  • Autoimmune disease: The immune system of your body could assault your healthy cells as a result of bacteria in your digestive tract.
  • Genes: IBD, or inflammatory bowel disease, is frequently inherited. You may be more likely to get Crohn's disease if one of your parents, siblings, or other family members does. People who have a number of certain gene mutations (changes) may be predisposed to Crohn's disease.
  • Smoking: Your chance of Crohn's disease could double if you smoke cigarettes.

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

Crohn's disease patients may go through flare-ups, or periods of really bad symptoms, followed by periods of no symptoms (remission). Weeks or even years may pass between remissions. It is impossible to forecast when flare-ups will occur.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease can include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • A feeling of fullness
  • Fever
  • A loss of your appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abnormal skin tags (usually on your buttocks).
  • Anal fissures
  • Anal fistulas
  • Rectal bleeding

Crohn’s disease symptoms in females

At the time of diagnosis, almost 50% of women with Crohn's disease are younger than 35.

Women who have Crohn's disease may experience the following symptoms:

Irregular periods

The menstrual cycle is influenced by hormone levels, diet, and stress during a flare-up of Crohn's disease.

Hormones can't work normally when they're blocked by inflammation brought on by Crohn's disease. Other typical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhea and appetite loss, may affect the body's ability to absorb nutrients.

Crohn's disease flare-ups can be stressful since the symptoms can be painful and interfere with daily activities.

Increased symptoms for women with IBD may occur in the weeks leading up to and during their period.

Fertility issues

According to research, women who are in Crohn's remission have fertility rates that are comparable to those of the general population. However, a person may have more trouble conceiving if the disease is ongoing or if they just underwent surgery to treat the ailment.

Anyone with Crohn's disease who is considering getting pregnant may want to talk to their doctor because some treatments may also have an impact on fertility.

According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, pregnant women with IBD fare well if their condition was stable at the time of conception. IBD may continue to be active or worsen throughout pregnancy if a woman becomes pregnant while experiencing a flare-up.

Iron deficiency

Compared to women without IBD, individuals who have the ailment are more likely to experience iron deficiency. This might be brought on by gastrointestinal bleeding or a deficiency in iron absorption.

An iron deficiency may be present in a woman with IBD and heavy periods since a heavy menstrual cycle can also impair the body's iron levels.

Dyspareunia

Dyspareunia is the medical term for pain experienced during sex.

Pain during sex could be a sign that a disease is present in the area of the digestive tract that surrounds the anus or vagina. It could also be a sign of a fistula. Between two internal organs, frequently the bowel and intestine, a fistula is a tiny aberrant passage that forms

Other Symptoms

  • Inflammation in the digestive tract damages organs and tissues, causing a variety of symptoms.
  • Both men and women can experience these typical signs of Crohn's disease:
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • rectal bleeding
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • fatigue

Diagnosis of Crohn's Disease

Most Crohn's patients visit a doctor for the first time because of persistent diarrhea, stomach cramps, or unexplained weight loss. Contact your pediatrician if you have a youngster who has been exhibiting Crohn's disease symptoms.

Your healthcare provider can request one or more of the following tests to determine the source of your symptoms:

  • Blood test:  A blood test looks for an abundance of white blood cells, which could be a sign of infection or inflammation. The test also examines anemia or decreased red blood cell count. Anemia affects almost one in three patients with Crohn's disease. Lab Tests Include: CBC Test, Anemia Test & Etc
  • Stool test:  During this examination, a sample of your faeces is examined to look for bacteria or parasites. It can eliminate diseases that lead to persistent diarrhea.
  • Colonoscopy: During a colonoscopy, your doctor looks into your colon using an endoscope, a narrow tube with a light and camera attached. To check for symptoms of inflammation, your doctor may remove a tissue sample (biopsy) from the colon.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan:  Images of the digestive system are produced via a CT scan. It conveys to your doctor the level of intestinal inflammation.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy:  A long, thin tube known as an endoscope is inserted into your throat by your doctor. Your doctor can view inside thanks to an attached camera. Additionally, your doctor could obtain tissue samples throughout the upper endoscopy.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) exam:  X-ray pictures During an upper GI examination, barium liquid can be consumed, allowing your doctor to observe how it travels through your digestive system.

Treatment of Crohn's disease

Depending on what's causing your symptoms and how severe they are for you, there are different treatments for Crohn's disease. The aim of treatment for Crohn's disease in children is to establish remission (the interval between symptom flare-ups), maintain remission, and gradually control any consequences.

For Crohn's disease, your doctor might advise one or more of the following therapies:

  • Antibiotics: Infections can be treated or avoided with antibiotics. Abscesses may result from severe infections (pockets of pus). A fistula is an aperture or tunnel that connects two organs that ordinarily aren't connected.
  • Antidiarrheal medication: Severe diarrhoea can be stopped with prescription drugs like loperamide (Imodium A-D®).
  • Biologics: Monoclonal antibodies are present in these drugs to inhibit the immunological response.
  • Bowel rest: Your doctor could advise fasting for a few days or longer in order to give your intestines time to heal. You might be given intravenous (parenteral) nourishment to gain the nutrition you require. During this period, only consume the prescribed liquids or use a feeding tube.
  • Corticosteroids: The corticosteroids cortisone, prednisone, and others reduce inflammation brought on by autoimmune disease.
  • Immunomodulators: By reducing an overactive immune system, these medications reduce inflammation. Azathioprine and cyclosporine are a couple of them.
  • Surgery: Crohn's disease cannot be cured by surgery, however it can address its complications. Intestinal obstructions, bleeding, or perforations may require surgery to treat.

How to Prevent Crohn's disease

There is no cure for Crohn's disease. The following healthy lifestyle modifications might lessen flare-ups and ease symptoms:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Eat a healthy, low-fat diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage stress.

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